There are a number of signs and symptoms associated with those who are struggling with an addiction and who are having a difficult time changing their behavior. Being able to recognize these patterns of addiction may help family, friends, and even professionals to find more successful ways to aid that person over time.
Relapse, Triggers, and Cravings: Some Patterns of Addiction
Within additions, “short-term abstention is common while long-term relapse rates are high.” That is, for many, efforts to stop the risky behaviors are often short-lived and don’t ‘stick.’ They may have the drive and sincere desire to do so, but the actual act itself is easier said than done. After all, cravings for the substance can be triggered by a variety of things, some which the person doesn’t realize until those things have already happened.
Along the same lines, many such patients who have been exposed to these triggers consequently fall into instances of relapse. “For example, upon exiting rehab, addicts who return to their old environment are more likely to experience cravings and resume use.” Falling victim to these “cues” and thereby being unable to abstain for a period of time are two of the many patterns of addiction that warn of the dangers of the substances that are being abused.
Another concerning behavior is a general “loss of control,” or a situation in which, despite prior promises and even despite what the person themselves wants, that same person acts anyway. If a friend swears off drinking and, internally, knows that the drinking must stop, but then finds themselves unable to resist, then their addiction has grown beyond their control. This can be very scary for their loved ones and certainly for the person themselves, who falls back into dangerous habits even with a vow to stop. There may not even be any more ‘positive’ effects for them, and yet they still return to the drugs or alcohol because of the compulsion above all else.
Another danger faced by those within patterns of addiction is “cross-addiction.” That is, the compulsive behavior transfer from drugs and/or alcohol and becomes a new addiction to a behavior, such as gambling, or to another substance, like food. This is typically a result of the individual seeking out other ways to avoid unpleasant feelings, which is, in many cases, the reason that their original addictions developed. Many also turn to self-medicating habits in which they turn to legal substances to cope with certain situations; for example, if the person used to have a few drinks in order to fall asleep at night, they may now abuse cold medicine as a sleep aid.
“Addiction is not limited to only substance abuse.” This is an important concept to understand in all cases so that the patient or his/her loved ones can better address the situation at hand. Patterns of addiction may not be evident at first glance, as things will vary from person to person, but there are some standards to watch out for in all cases. If you are concerned about someone who is suffering from substance abuse, or if you are worried that you may have developed a problem yourself, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction. We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.
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About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]